by Coral Rose
Designers and buyers are now asking “what is the source of our raw materials? Where were the materials harvested, processed, produced?” What went into the process (inputs) and what came out (impacts) this “new thinking” is a total mindset shift at the design level.
IPCC and leading scientists believe that
climate pollution must be stopped in the next 10 years or else dangerous climate
change may likely be irreversible. What does climate change and carbon
footprinting have to do with clothing?
There are two parts to the equation. Our primary footprint is the direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation. Our secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use -- those products' manufacture and eventual breakdown. Products like clothing? Yes.
Carbon reduction labels already appear on well-known brands in the UK such as Walkers Crisps, Boots Botanics shampoo and Innocent Smoothies as well as EarthPositive apparel, which is a first for clothing.
It is imperative that here in the US business move quickly from sourcing and creating “organic and sustainable apparel products” to clothing products that are third party certified “carbon neutral.”
Last week Lenzing, an Austrian based, global company held an eco-symposium in Paris. Lenzing presented the results of a study carried out by the University of Utrecht. The study considers 11 different environmental impacts including Greenhouse Gases( GHG) the report compares over half a dozen fibers including cellulose fibers. Fibers researched in the study are cotton-conventional cotton both from the USA and China, Polys; PET, polypropelene and Lenzings Modal® TENCEL® and Viscose®
The results of this study are stunning and document that Lenzings Modal® is the ONLY Carbon Neutral fiber amongst those studied. Lenzings TENCEL® runs a close second.
What we need is strategy of quick change;
While many if not hundreds of companies and industry wide-organizations, some collaboratively are working to define what is the definition of ‘Sustainable Textiles’ as well as products, that is exactly what has led this industry into the wild west where anything goes.
A much simpler solution would be to quickly
move to products that are certified ‘Carbon Neutral’ and set the definitive
CO2 Neutral Apparel Thoughts:
1.) “Shopping to Save the World” may soon be a thing of the past if consumers realize consumption is actually one of the primary causes of the degradation of our planet. Consumers may shift to service, re-use, repair businesses. Consumers may be looking for a Carbon Neutral label. What is your strategy of quick change for a world of consumers that consume less?
2.) Lenzings Modal ® is a CO2 carbon neutral fiber produced in a closed loop system. That is the fiber of the 21st Century. Find a way to utilize Modal® into your fiber blends. What is your strategy of quick change in utilizing more third party certified organic and sustainable fibers?
3.) The price of oil is high over $100 a barrel, and producing polyester from petrochemicals a vital non-renewable resource can also be very polluting. The price of food is rising because of crop land being used for bio-fuels. Water shortages are approaching us quickly. Cotton, a thirsty crop, it is also grown on valuable agriculture land, which someday may be needed to feed us. Cotton is currently 40% of all textiles(organic cotton represents less than 1% of that 40%) What is your strategy of quick change in a world where crops are being used for food and fuel and land for cotton becomes more valuable?
As we continue on this road to a sustainable future it is important to be out in front........at all times.
Every day, we need to look at 'What are the Horizon Issues?' and re-prioritize our day!!!!!!